The building, which was bought by BMBC in 2007 for £18m, is used as council offices, and will be “repurposed” to create “a modern working environment”.
Proposals include spending £333,000 on desks and booths, £200,000 on kitchens and toilets, £180,000 on floor coverings, £10,000 on breakout spaces, and an estimated £500,000 to replace the building’s roof covering and facilitate the installation of solar panels.
Some electrical and soft furnishing works will also be required, although cost estimates for these have not yet been received, according to a council report.
It’s proposed that this will be funded as part of the £5m allocated from the council’s capital programme, which was earmarked to “invest in the council’s asset base”
A report to be considered by cabinet members during tomorrow’s (May 18) meeting states that savings have been made through ” changes to workstyles [and] office use,” which were “prompted by the pandemic”.
Prompted by the pandemic, changes to workstyles, office use and other associated expenditure has enabled around £815,000 in savings.
“It has been agreed that Gateway Plaza will no longer be used by council services as an office base, but that we will seek further rental income for the building,” adds the report.
“Since we occupied Westgate Plaza in 2007, we have spent a limited amount on the building for general lifecycle replacement of items including the refresh and refurbishment of office furniture, breakout spaces and carpets, as well as works to make the building inclusive and accessible.”
“The furniture in Westgate Plaza no longer meets our needs or our work styles. We have changed dramatically over the last 15 years.
“The rollout of digital, more agile technology such as laptops and Microsoft 365, and the adoption of paperless processes means people don’t need to have the desks and equipment that they once needed.
“Work areas on levels two to five in Westgate Plaza need to be improved.
“We want the building space to be inclusive, accessible, modern, efficient, and effective with workspaces including project tables and quiet pods for confidential working, new carpet tiles and refreshed facilities in the kitchens and toilets.”